The Investment Office participated in the 20th Jubilee Vienna Economic Forum held on November 13 in the Festive Hall of Vienna City Hall that brought together leaders from the Balkans and the European Union under the theme "Continuing to Build Economic Bridges During Difficult Times" to foster stronger ties and explore the path towards a truly integrated Europe.
Considering the current geopolitical challenges this year, the forum organized four sessions dedicated to “Continuing to Build Economic Bridges during Difficult Times”, “European Economic and Financial Stability on the Path to Europe - Challenges and Responsibilities”, “From Region to Region - Acting Together with Responsibility for the European Future” and “ALPHA Session – Ask the Decision Makers. Building Economic Cooperation in Difficult Times”.
During the event, Investment Office Vice President Bekir Polat underscored that Türkiye’s primary focus was on global supply chain restructuring. He highlighted the critical role of sustainability as the foundation of all investment policies. “We are particularly emphasizing the global supply chain restructuring. Türkiye has evolved into a regional hub for multinationals, with Turkish companies also becoming integral to this ecosystem”, Polat stated, adding, “Foreign direct investors play a pivotal role in integrating into global value chains, and our goal is to ensure that companies in Türkiye, both international and local, become fully integrated and move up the value chains.”
Explaining that resilience, particularly in the post-pandemic era, has led to double-digit export growth in Türkiye, with a remarkable 25 percent growth in one year and over 20 percent in the following year. Polat added, “We prioritize local entrepreneurship, especially technology startups. This has become a significant competitive advantage for Türkiye. Technology is at the heart of the new economy, and for foreign direct investors, these startups have become a major driver of FDI inflows into the country.”
With regard to the energy sector, Polat highlighted, "Over the last two decades, we have made significant strides in our energy policy, establishing a liberalized and integrated energy market, including the creation of a free and liberal energy exchange market. Currently, our installed electricity generation capacity stands at 100 gigawatts, with 55 percent derived from renewable sources. We have a robust foundation in wind and solar energy. Alongside strengthening our energy capacity, we have implemented policies to ensure the localization of equipment manufacturing. Looking ahead, our future agenda includes the integration of green hydrogen, green ammonia, and small and medium-sized nuclear reactors (SMR) technologies."
Former Chancellor of Austria Wolfgang Schüssel emphasized the significance of building bridges between the Balkans and the European Union in the increasingly interconnected world. Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution of the Republic of Austria Karoline Edtstadler, and Federal Minister of Finance of Austria Magnus Brunner provided valuable insights into EU accession, the sustainability transition, and financial stability on the path to Europe.
One key highlight of the event was witnessing the insightful discussions among Prime Ministers Albin Kurti (Kosova), Acad. Nikolai Denkov (Bulgaria), Dimitar Kovačevski (North Macedonia), and Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro Nik Gjeloshaj, along with Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni. Together, they explored the way forward towards EU accession, recognizing the transformative power of this process in unlocking new opportunities for economic growth, stability, and prosperity.
The Vienna Economic Forum was established in 2004 with the goal of fostering regional economic collaboration among member states, including Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Türkiye, and Ukraine. For the past 15 years, the Forum has remained true to its founding goals of highlighting and promoting investment prospects in the region spanning the Adriatic to the Black Sea, fostering joint projects needed in the short, medium and long term, promoting these initiatives and bringing them to fruition.